Characterization of a cortical defect of the Ulna found in the Fernvale archaeological population (40WM51) of the South Harpeth River Valley in Middle Tennessee

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Foster, Alison Elise
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Middle Tennessee State University
Osteological analyses of human remains from Fernvale (40WM51), a multicomponent site with Late Archaic Period interments along the South Harpeth River in Middle Tennessee, were conducted as part of a re-analysis project implemented by the Tennessee Division of Archaeology (TDOA). The main goal of this research was to describe and characterize a cortical defect, observed in 14 of 16 individuals (23 of 26 ulnae) from the site, that had not been previously documented in the anthropological or clinical literature and offer explanations to the biomechanical origins of the defect. The cortical defect, located in the proximal radioulnar joint appeared to be the imprint of soft tissue damage in response to physical stressors. Activities biomechanically similar to climbing and canoeing or accidental falls caused by habitually traversing rugged terrain possibly caused the avulsion injury to the lateral ligament complex that resulted in the cortical defect at the posterior attachment site of the annular ligament.
Annular ligament attachment sit, Bioarchaeology, Cortical defect, Elbow, Human osteology, Prehistoric activity patterns